New Delhi: The NDA government on Friday sailed through the No Confidence Motion in the Lok Sabha, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi dubbing it a result of the Opposition’s “arrogance” and its “Modi hatao” mindset, as he hit back at Rahul Gandhi over “childish” behaviour. The government got the support of 325 members, while 126 backed the motion. AIADMK members opposed the motion.
Members of the Shiv Sena, BJD and TRS were not present when voting took place. The TRS did not participate in the voting. Party leader A.P. Jithender Reddy told this newspaper that the party went away because it did not concern the state. Replying to an over 10-hour debate on the motion, Mr Modi appealed to all parties to defeat it and accused the Congress president of crushing the truth and playing with national security by making allegations against him on the Doklam issue and by speaking of graft in the Rafale aircraft deal.
Hours after Mr Gandhi left all surprised by walking across to the PM’s chair to hug him, Mr Modi turned the tables on him, saying he appeared to be in a hurry to occupy his seat as he kept asking him to stand up for an embrace. “What is his hurry to come to power? Let me tell this member, it is the people who elected us. That is how we have come here,” he said. The whole country has watched the game he played with his eyes, he said, evoking laughter from treasury benches as he gestured with his hands, apparently referring to Mr Gandhi’s wink in the House after his speech.
If Gandhi kept Modi in his line of fire through his speech, it was the turn of the Congress’ ruling family when the prime minister spoke. “The country is not unaware of the history of one family which stoked political instability in the country time and again for its selfish intersts,” he said. The Prime Minister said his fate was in the hands of 125 crore people and added that he prayed to lord Shiva, who was invoked by Gandhi in his speech, and the countrymen, that the Congress leader bring a similar no-confidence motion in 2024.
He cited several development and welfare initiatives while hitting out at the opposition, saying the country has seen how much negativity has seeped into his rivals that they were speaking against the progress made by the country. To remove him, these parties, which could not even stand each other, have got together but he had the people’s blessings, Modi said as he recited verses and shlokas to describe the opposition as a decrepit ship without a captain. This is not his government’s floor test but a “force test” that the Congress has done to see which parties are with it, he said.
Without naming Gandhi, Modi said due to his “careless” allegation on the Rafale deal, both India and France had to release statements. There is complete transparency in the deal, he asserted. Gandhi also spoke about the Doklam issue but believed the Chinese Ambassador over our forces, Modi said referring to Gandhi’s meeting with Chinese diplomats during the standoff.
“What have we come to? Everything does not merit a childish conduct,” he said. Apparently referring to the opposition attack on his government over mob lynching incidents, Modi said he has asked state governments to take action against the culprits who indulge in violence. Terming the incidents of lynching and rapes as acts against humanity, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today urged states to take stringent action in such cases.